Archive for the ‘Published’ Category


By: Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc

The Southern Star newspaper recently reported (3rd August 2013) that Cork County Council has approved a joint application by two local heritage groups to redevelop the site of the Kilmichael Ambush. The application includes plans to commemorate the RIC Auxiliaries killed in the ambush and has been described as a “suitable commemoration for both [the] IRA Volunteers and [the] Auxiliaries.”

The idea of developing Kilmichael into a heritage site and tourist attraction has been widely welcomed. However the idea that this development will include a formal commemoration of the Auxiliaries has met with strong opposition. This controversy has arisen at the beginning of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ and raises important questions about the nature and politics of commemoration and who and what we commemorate.

 Historical commemoration is essentially a political act. Communities make decisions on who to commemorate based on their current values and political and social outlook. 

Historical commemoration is essentially a political act. Communities make decisions on who to commemorate based on their current values and political and social outlook. Recently commemorations were held to mark the centenary of the ‘Votes for Women Campaign’ and the struggle for women’s rights. Events were held throughout Ireland and Britain marking the anniversary of the campaign and celebrating the lives of famous Suffragettes.

However there were no commemorations for the ‘Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League’, an organisation which campaigned on the basis that women did not deserve the vote. The reason why the Anti-Suffragettes have been ignored is both obvious and deliberate. Today our society accepts that women are entitled to the same rights as men. With the benefit of hindsight those organising commemorations know that the Suffragette’s cause was a just one. Thus it is accepted that the memory of those who fought to secure women’s suffrage should be celebrated and that their opponents should not be afforded the same status.

A similar situation arises with the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Commemorations are being held throughout the capital to celebrate Jim Larkin, the striking workers, the Citizen Army and the struggle of Dublin’s poor for decent working and living conditions. Unsurprisingly, there are no plans to erect plaques in Dublin to William Martin Murphy and the Employers Federation. Nor are there plans to honour the DMP Constables who suppressed the strike with brute force and killed a number of the strikers in the process. The reason Murphy and his supporters will not be honoured in Dublin is that modern Irish society now accepts that workers have a fundamental right to join a trade union. Consequently it is generally agreed that the workers who went on strike in the capital one hundred years ago to secure that right were justified in their actions.

 Commemorating the War of Independence

Tom Barry leads a parade of IRA Kilmichael veterans in 1966.

Tom Barry leads a parade of IRA Kilmichael veterans in 1966.

The same partisan approach was traditionally adopted in the south of Ireland regarding commemoration of the Kilmichael Ambush and other actions of the War of Independence. This was partially because the southern Irish state and many of its institutions, including Dáil Éireann, the Irish Defence Forces and An Garda Sióchana, owe their origins to the Republican movement of 1919 to 1921.

Irish Republicans had won an overwhelming majority of Irish seats in the 1918 general election, and felt this gave them a democratic mandate to pursue the Irish people’s claim to independence. The traditional view of the conflict in the south of Ireland was that when the Republicans launched their military campaign to establish an independent republic they were justified in doing so, and fought a largely ‘clean’ campaign against the British Forces.

Critics of the Republican military campaign waged during the War of Independence used this debate to call for a reassessment of the role played by the RIC, Black and Tans, and other British forces in the conflict.

Of course the conduct of the war was far more complex than this traditional view allowed – but the historian Peter Hart’s claims about the IRA’s ‘dirty war’ went to the opposite extreme and were in many cases exaggerated or oversimplified. Hart’s claims about the execution of captured Auxiliaries at Kilmichael, and his allegations of IRA sectarianism in Cork during the War of Independence, whether justified or not, severely damaged the reputation of  the republican combatants and played an important part in the ‘Revisionist vs Anti-Revisionist’ historical debates of recent decades.

Critics of the military campaign waged by Republicans during the War of Independence used this debate to call for a reassessment of the role played by the RIC, Black and Tans, and other British forces in the conflict.

Remembering the RIC and Auxiliaries

RIC Auxiliaries.

RIC Auxiliaries.

Given the nature of the debate about the morality of the Republican actions it was inevitable that there would also be calls to reassess the way the conflict is commemorated nationally. The idea that those who fought to prevent Irish independence should be formally commemorated in the south of Ireland first received serious attention when journalist Chris Ryder, author of the book ‘The RUC A Force Under Fire’ wrote an opinion piece for the Irish Times in August 2011.

Ryder suggested there should be a formal commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the Irish Republic. Furthermore he suggested that this commemoration should include the RIC Constables, Black and Tans and RIC Auxiliaries killed during the War of Independence. One year later a commemoration on the lines suggested by Ryder was held in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. (For more on this see my previous piece on this on The Irish Story, here)

Some have suggested there should be a formal commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the Irish Republic

The organisers of this event expressed their disappointment that it had not been made an official Irish state commemoration. However, had the ceremony been afforded such a status, it would have resulted in a ridiculous situation whereby the Irish state undermined it’s own legitimacy by paying homage to those who fought to prevent the establishment of the state!

As part of the proposed redevelopment of the Kilmichael ambush site an application has been made for €100,000 in public funds to finance the project. Surely it would be wrong for state bodies to spend public funds commemorating those who fought to prevent Irish independence, and deny the Irish people what we now accept are their basic democratic rights?

Whilst citizens in the south of Ireland have always been proud of their country’s independence, the economic collapse has refocused southern Irish minds on the importance of fiscal independence. Autonomy, independence and sovereignty have now become political buzz-words employed by Irish politicians who repeatedly stress how important it is that we reclaim these rights. If we really hold these freedoms to be so important why would we commemorate and celebrate the memory of members of the British forces who sought to deny them to our forefathers?

If we really hold these freedoms to be so important why would we commemorate and celebrate the memory of members of the British forces who sought to deny them to our forefathers?

It would of course be natural for British people to want to commemorate those who fought to keep Ireland within the United Kingdom and the British Empire. However few Britons seem eager to do so. In my experience, the British public, even those with strong military connections, are not especially proud of the role their forces played during the Irish War of Independence. British history books and school text books either gloss over the ‘Irish question’ or ignore it completely.

British military museums are equally evasive. Local regimental museums omit any reference to the war in Ireland, though a few will mention in passing the more recent ‘troubles’. Even the Imperial War Museum, which has an exhibit on the 1916 Rising, does not mention the War of Independence. British memorials which list the names of those killed in ‘peace time’ conflicts do not mention British troops killed in Ireland between 1919 and 1921. Interestingly, British troops killed in Ireland at the time are far more likely to be commemorated by Ulster loyalists than by the populace in Britain.

British forces’ record in Ireland 1919-1921

The reason why the British are reluctant to acknowledge or commemorate British troops killed in the Irish War of Independence is because of the numerous atrocities, attacks on civilians and reprisal killings committed by their troops. The record of the RIC’s Auxiliary Division is amongst the worst of any British military, police or paramilitary unit in Ireland.

The reason why the British are reluctant to acknowledge or commemorate British troops killed in the Irish War of Independence is because of the numerous atrocities, attacks on civilians and reprisal killings committed by their troops.

The Auxiliaries were involved in the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre at Croke Park at which thirteen innocent civilians were killed. The same day the Auxiliaries killed another three unarmed prisoners (two IRA and 1 civilian) at Dublin Castle. The following week the Auxiliaries in Galway captured, tortured and killed two brothers who were in the IRA; Pat and Harry Loughnane. When their burned and mutilated bodies were eventually found they were scarcely recognisable. Pat’s wrists, legs and arms were broken, his skull was fractured and his torso had been mutilated with a blade. Harry’s body was missing two fingers, his right arm was broken and nothing was left of his face except his chin and lips. The same month the Auxiliaries in Galway also abducted, killed, and secretly buried Fr. Michael Griffin a Catholic priest who held republican sympathies.

In December 1920 the Auxiliaries were responsible for the ‘Burning of Cork’ which caused £3 million worth of damage, destroyed 5 acres of property, saw the assassination of two unarmed republicans who were asleep in their beds and left at least 2,000 workers unemployed.  The Auxiliaries were also involved in a covert British campaign of reprisal killings and the assassination of elected officials. In March 1920 the Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, and his predecessor, the former Mayor, Michael O’Callaghan, were assassinated in their homes by Auxiliaries under the command of Section Leader George Nathan. ‘C Company’, the unit of the Auxiliaries attacked at Kilmichael were also responsible for a number of reprisal killings.

Just two weeks before the Kilmichael Ambush a member of C Company shot dead an innocent civilian named Jim Lehane at Ballyvourney. Later that night the killer got drunk in a local pub and boasted he ‘got the bastard’ and that shooting the Irish was the ‘one way of teaching them manners’. The Auxiliary responsible for Lehane’s killing was Cadet Gutherie, the same Auxiliary who escaped the Kilmichael Ambush only to be killed by the IRA a short time later.

In December 1920  a member of C Company shot Cannon Magner, a 73 year old Catholic priest, and his travelling companion Timothy Crowley, killing them both in cold blood without and provocation. Discipline within the Auxiliary Division eventually became so bad, and  reprisal killings so common, that Brigadier General Crozier resigned as head of the force stating that he ‘could not go on leading a drunken and insubordinate body of men.’

The excesses of the Auxiliaries, the Black and Tans and the other British forces in Ireland ultimately proved counterproductive. The British public became increasingly disturbed at the outrages committed in their name. Ultimately this was a decisive factor in the British Government’s decision to begin political negotiations with Irish Republicans that led to the Anglo-Irish Truce of 11 July 1921.

It is interesting that people with southern Republican and Irish Nationalist backgrounds have been prominent in organising commemorations of the British troops killed in the War of Independence. This may be the result of post-peace process politics and the idea of ‘parity of esteem’ between warring political traditions. Or, alternatively it may spring from the “delusional” and “warped sense of nationhood” that Geraldine Moane, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at UCD, recently stated was a legacy of Ireland’s experience of colonialism.

Regardless of its origins, if Irish people begin commemorating those who fought to deny our forefathers the rights we now cherish, surely it will be ‘political correctness’ taken a step too far? If we stop asking what people were fighting for and if their actions were justified, then we will have reduced our history to a bland equation where there is no context, sense of morality, or concept of justice and right or wrong.

Irish people seem to be alone in commemorating their forefather’s enemies. The British do not commemorate the Germans, Turks and Irish rebels killed by the British army during their First World War at their Remembrance Day ceremonies – nor do the Germans, Turks and Irish expect them to. The Americans do not erect monuments to the British troops killed by Washington’s army.

The British soldiers killed in the Indian Mutiny are not celebrated by Indians. Those killed fighting the Mau Mau are not commemorated by the Kenyans. In fact, it is more commonplace for the British Government to make historical apologies (for all they are worth) for their past colonial misdeeds. This was most recently demonstrated by the recent apology to the Kikuyu in Kenya. However, in Ireland we seem to be intent on moving in the opposite direction.

The Kilmichael memorial and development

We cannot ignore the presence of the Auxiliaries at Kilmichael or pretend that the ambush was a bloodless affair. But there is a significant difference between recalling someone’s place in history and celebrating them through commemoration. If the Auxiliaries killed at Kilmichael were named on an information panel with context being provided by an outline of the force’s history and its role in Ireland, it is likely that the current controversy would not have arisen.

We cannot ignore the presence of the Auxiliaries at Kilmichael or pretend that the ambush was a bloodless affair.

A member of the Heritage Council writing in support of the Kilmichael development stated, “I think there is a need to achieve a balanced interpretation of what happened at Kilmichael that reflects modern scholarship of the ambush.” This sounds like a good idea at first, but the problem, as recent debate about Peter Hart’s work has demonstrated, is that modern scholars are not in agreement about what happened at Kilmichael. The significance of the ambush and the debates about the nature of the War of Independence are far too nuanced and complex to be adequately explained in a few lines on a memorial plaque.

If those intent on developing the ambush site really want foster a deeper understanding of our history, the €100,000 in funds they have earmarked for the scheme would be far better spent renovating a farmhouse near Kilmichael as a museum or interpretive centre. This would give greater scope to explore the history of the ambush and its related controversies. A visitor centre would also serve as a space where artefacts from the conflict could be preserved and debates could be held. If such a centre was established within walking distance of the ambush site, visitors could be taken to view the battlefield without spoiling its integrity.

 The €100,000 in funds earmarked for a new memorial to the Auxiliary dead at Kilmichael would be far better spent renovating a farmhouse near Kilmichael as a museum or interpretive centre.

As well as allowing a more detailed exploration of the history of the war, a museum would benefit the local economy, creating seasonal jobs and sustainable tourism – benefits which the proposed re-development of the Kilmichael site is unlikely to bring. If anyone doubts the viability of this suggestion I would invite them to visit the Michael Collins Centre in West Cork or to look at the plans for the new Michael Collins Museum in Clonakilty.

Now that we are in the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ we need to have serious debates about the Irish Revolution of 1913 – 23. We need to ask ourselves hard questions, and be prepared, when faced with new evidence, to abandon comfortable fables in favour of difficult facts. We also need to remember that just because we can commemorate someone does not mean that we should. Today Irish people are free to commemorate whoever they want to. When organising these events we need to consider who’s memory we are celebrating and why. We should also keep in mind who won that freedom for us – and how it was won.

Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc is a PhD student at the University of Limerick.  He has written several books on the Irish War of Independence and Civil war,the most recent of Which “Revolution.  A Photographic History of Revolutionary Ireland 1913 -1923” was shortlisted for the ‘Best Irish Published Book’ category in the 2011 Irish Book Awards.

See original –


1916 Whos Afraid

WHO’S AFRAID OF 1916? – BY: Tom McGurk

As Alan Shatter moves to ‘demilitarise’ the 1916 commemorations, one leading writer asks why it is that we seem so afraid to celebrate the military nature of the revolt which gave us our freedom: it’s time, he argues, to accept the Rising for what it was – warts, guns and all.

PEOPLE passing through Arbour Hill in Dublin last Wednesday might have been confused about what was happening.

They would have seen an entire regimental colour party from the Defence Forces, followed by the Army band, marching into the Church of the Most Sacred Heart. Then, from the long line of motorbike outriders and limos parked outside, the President and the Taoiseach emerged.

What was going on, passers-by must have wondered, because while evidently there was some major State event happening, where were the crowds? Here was the full ceremonial party of the State, legislature, judiciary and Defence Forces all dressed-up and in their Sunday-best (on a Wednesday) and seemingly nobody had told anybody else about it? Bizarrely, it seemed that here was a State event with more dignitaries and soldiers of the State present than actual citizens of the State.

What was happening was, of course, the official commemoration at the graves of (some of) the executed 1916 leaders on the 97th anniversary of the Rising. One could hardly blame any observer for thinking that it was all being handled like some afterthought, a national event out of sight and out of mind.

Significantly, given the controversy it subsequently aroused, it is useful to remember that the event was hosted on behalf of the State by Justice, Equality and Defence Minister Alan Shatter.

However, the lack of public involvement was only the beginning of the many questions left hanging in the air.

Certainly, some citizens would have known about the occasion because this newspaper had, that very morning, reported that the Minister has allowed significant changes, involving the Army, to be made to the traditional format of the ceremony; an Army colour party would no longer be present inside the church at the Mass and ceremonially saluting at the Eucharist. Apparently there was even an attempt to remove the Army generals from the front row of the church but that was resisted.

So why was this ceremony being demilitarised, especially by the Minister in charge of the Army? It wouldn’t be the first time this Minister has exhibited a poor knowledge of the history and traditions of the country.

WHATEVER Mr Shatter’s intentions were in changing the format of the commemoration, the reason the Defence Forces were given such a significant role in the State’s commemoration of 1916 has a significant historical background.

Essentially, the format of this ceremony – ongoing since 1924 – was dictated by the post-Civil War crisis. Back then the new State was continually seeking a wider acceptance for the legitimacy and the role of the Defence Forces in those difficult years after the Civil War.

So, symbolically linking them to this particular ceremony dedicated to the 1916 leaders was part of that, while sending, at the same time, a message which illustrated the continuing paramilitary tradition.

There were many armies at one time, all calling themselves the army of Ireland. After all, this was what was called the ‘Free Staters’ army’ and it had defeated the Republicans in the bloody conflict that followed the signing of the Treaty.

This week, the Minister also sought and got changes in the religious ceremony itself. Where once it was an all-Irish Requiem Mass, this time it was mostly in English and with a significant multi-faith ritual. Again the original type of service had historical roots: post-Civil War, the Irish language restoration project and the significant power of the Catholic Church were also being thrown behind the new State.

Significantly too, the association of the executed leaders with Easter and their deeply Catholic deaths all invested the Catholic Church with a direct link to the Rebellion that few historians of the period can find. In fact, the Catholic hierarchy were historically opposed to the Republican tradition and especially to the notion of armed insurrection. But post-independence, the Church, just like the State, was keen to be on the right side of the executed 1916 leaders.

On Wednesday, the eulogy at the Catholic Mass was given by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson. Mr Shatter seemed to have him on his toes too.

In his contribution, Dr Jackson warned that ‘this generation of Irish people should be cautious of those who politically manipulate and exploit the legacy of 1916 and surrounding events’. (Presumably, in the circumstances, he wasn’t referring to Mr Shatter.) The Archbishop continued with perhaps a clue to what Mr Shatter and the Government are intending when he said: ‘History develops a new function, that of releasing new energy in a tired and repetitive world, porous to exploitation by those who know that old fears and old symbols still sell and who still suppress those who can think otherwise and think for themselves.’ I think a reasonable translation of this gobbledegook is that the sooner we accept that the past in Ireland needs to be reinvented the better.

There were other symptoms too of the State’s – and in particular this Government’s – unease with the whole 1916 business.

The Presidential wreath was laid in memory not just of the executed leaders but for all those who died around the events of 1916. Presumably, that also includes the 116 British soldiers who died putting down the Rebellion.

So what’s going on here and why can’t what has worked for the State in the past be left alone to work in the future? I t’s three years to 2016 but if last Wednesday was anything to go by, I suspect the 1916 revisionist script rewriters are already burning the midnight oil.

But why? What are they afraid of? Us or the unvarnished facts of our history? Why is there such nervousness about that 2016 date looming like some dreaded and dangerous family occasion? In an important new study, just published, entitled Fatal Path, about violence and democratic politics between Britain and Ireland from 1910 to 1922, Ronan Fanning, Professor Emeritus of Modern History at UCD, quotes eminent historian Bernard Lewis on revisionism.

LEWIS says: ‘The purpose of changing the past is not to seek some abstract truth, but to achieve a new vision of the past better suited to the needs of the present and their aspiration for the future.

‘Their aim is to amend, to restate, to replace or even to recreate the past in a more satisfactory form.’ The Fanning book is fascinating in that it deals with exactly the current disquiet in relation to this State’s lead up to 2016.

He argues that it is time that even historians recognised how the threat of physical force triumphed in Ireland between 1912 and 1922 and how British parliamentary democracy crumpled in the face of it. Minister Shatter’s changes to the traditional 1916 Commemoration occasion may owe something to the dead hand of political correctness, but there appears to be a larger agenda at work. Particularly with a younger generation in mind, a sort of bowdlerised historical hybrid is being created by the State. Given the extensive agenda of historical commemorations due from now until 2022 (the end of the Civil War), are we yet again witnessing another official version of State history being produced? Is the curse of yet another divisive history, so often the legacy of the post-colonial state, to be ours again? But what I don’t understand is the nervousness, their concern for us. Do they really think that some 80 years on as an independent State, it is still not safe for us to be left loose with our own history.

The contrast with the UK could not be more vivid. Take its November Remembrance Day. It unifies the entire nation and brings all political and religious shades to the same spot. It fortifies the British sense of nationhood and national homogeneity and creates a national moment of unity and continuity that enriches the nation.

Quite simply, on the Sunday closest to November 11, at 11 o’clock in the morning, millions of British people at home and all across the world know exactly what they are remembering, who they are commemorating and (perhaps just as importantly) who they are as a people.

But, while in the UK history is an immovable force, here in Ireland the sands are always shifting. And so this time around it is – Who’s Afraid of 2016? The 1916 Rising has always created a crisis for democratic politicians because it was a defining political event devoid of any democratic mandate and in the immediate aftermath, deeply unpopular with the vast majority of the Irish people, then years along the constitutional path to Home Rule.

iN retrospect, the subsequent British executions of the leaders may well not only have snatched an extraordinary victory for the Republicans from the jaws of defeat, but it also bequeathed a hugely difficult legacy for Irish constitutional politics ever since. Political power had come out of the barrel of a gun and 30 years of Home Rule politics were swept away.

So how do you celebrate 1916 without accepting the seminal importance of the physical force tradition in Irish history? Dress it up however you like, Pádraig Pearse and company declared a Republic on Easter Monday 1916 without first checking it out with any of us around at the time, and then the shooting started.

Furthermore, the War of Independence that followed was started without any democratic mandate from the newly elected first Irish democratic parliament.

The IRA may well have been the army of the Republic but that title was self-styled and never conferred by the Dáil. Even then the politicians were uncomfortable with the shadow of the gunman.

In the years since, the political classes have sought to hide these realities. There was, of course, the threat it constituted to what might happen in the North, and down South the tradition of paramilitarism persisted.

But if you ask me, it is time we were finally allowed to grow up and learn the inconvenient facts of our birth. Why should a Government that has already proved its inability to teach economics now be able to teach history? 1916 had no democratic mandate because crown colonies don’t enjoy proper democracies in order to grant mandates to revolutions. (Come to think of it, wasn’t that why 1916 happened in the first place?) The War of Independence was fought by tiny numbers in about ten counties and was not universally supported. So much so that when the Civil War came, the vast majority of the population had actually turned their backs on armed insurrection.

In fact, the constituency for armed politics has always been tiny in Ireland; had the Unionists of 1912 not taken up guns, the Nationalists might never have.

Our grandparents no more liked guns than we do. But for all that, to continue to ignore the significance of armed politics is to ignore the facts of our national birth.

If anybody needs to grow up now it’s our daft politicians who are trying to rewrite history. We’re just fine with it – warts, guns and all.

ORIGINAL – Daily Mail Sat, 11/05/2013.

How the Banks are Screwing you

Posted: July 24, 2012 in Irish, Published


PUBLISHED in ‘Evening Echo’ Thursday 17 May 2012

Did you realise the only thing keeping you in debt to the bank is your participation in their game? Did you also realise when you refuse to participate in their game you start to live and live debt free? The next question is – Are you prepared to live?

What I call the ‘possible impossibles’, will start you thinking about the bank’s game and may even persuade you to stop playing and start living. So let us take a look at three of these ‘possible impossibles’.

Possible Impossibility OneYou do not owe the bank any money. This is because you didn’t borrow any money from the bank. The money you believe you borrowed never existed and you were therefore pulled into their game – a game of illusions.  This game is not protected by law and it is indefensible. The illusion that money is made from thin air, which the banks need you to believe so they can keep you in debt, must be uncovered. When you have no debt, the banks have no money.

In the near future you will witness people having their alleged debt written off. Will you be one of them?  Unless you demand answers from your bank you won’t be one of them and you will be left behind. You will also be blind to the truth of the money illusion.

Possible impossibility TwoYou never borrowed anything from the bank.  You may fight and reject this but it may be the inspiration you have been looking for.  The fact is the money you think you got from the bank never existed. You simply got a cheque and that cheque was immediately lodged back into the bank.

All the time you believed you got money and all you got was a cheque.  If you are thinking that a cheque is money you are wrong as according to the bank, a cheque is not money. A cheque is simply a promise to pay money. If a cheque was real money why don’t we start writing cheques today to clear our debts?

Possible Impossibility ThreeThe bank has no moneyImagine every bank customer withdraws their money at the same time.  In less than one hour the bank would have to shut its doors.  This bank is now closed.

The bank has no money, so how can it lend what it does not have? Furthermore it does not need money as long as we are happy to play their game. The amazing truth is less than 5% of money exists in cash. The remaining 95% is only numbers on a computer screen.

So how do you begin?  Firstly educate yourself on the Government, banking and legal system that says you owe money. Do an online search of ‘money is debt’, FIAT Money and Fractional Reserve Banking. Then understand that believing this will destroy everything you have ever believed so you can now you can begin to create your own future.

Marcus McKeown is helping thousands of people around Ireland to understand what needs to happen to challenge the banks and become debt free. Marcus is giving a talk on Wednesday 23rd May 2012 at 7pm in The Camden Palace Hotel, Cork.  Afterwards he will take questions and his new book ‘How The Banks Are Screwing You & What You Can Do About It’ will be available.  The entrance fee to his talk is on a donation basis only.  Further details on Marcus at